Hurricane Hermine has forced yet another delay before the new groins on Cortez Beach are completed.
Before the storm hit Manatee County, work on all three groins was “nearly complete with final clean up and punch list items left to address,” Charlie Hunsicker, the county’s parks and natural resources director, wrote in an email Tuesday morning. But because of the storm’s damage, the completion date is now estimated to be Dec. 1.
“The contractor was in the process of demobilizing when Hermine struck the area with high waves and storm surge, which resulted in a shifting of two spans on the central groin,” Thomas Pierro, a consultant for the county and director of Coastal Planning & Engineering Inc. of Boca Raton, said in the email. “Since the county had not yet deemed the project ready for final acceptance, the contractor will be required to correct the shifted spans.”
On-site work will be suspended temporarily until mid-to-late October when the crews will return to complete the work.
“The critical path is related to material procurement, which the contractor has been directed to order,” Pierro said in the email. “The pre-cast concrete has to cure after casting (typically 28 days to full strength) and the resulting lead time for delivery is expected to be about one month, at which time site work will resume.”
Work on the new groins at Cortez Beach began last spring and has been delayed several times, causing the completion date to be pushed back. In July, Hunsicker had estimated the completion to be this fall.
Groins are pier-like structures that jut out into the Gulf of Mexico to help hold beach sand in place. The three groins being replaced are along Gulf Drive South at Sixth Street South, 10th Street South and just south of 13th Street South.
“Unanticipated settlement of two deck plates in the middle groin during the passage of Hurricane Hermine will be repaired while the groin project is still under the control of the county contractor,” Hunsicker said in an email to commissioners Tuesday afternoon. “The good news here is the repair method selected in June for the settlement of two deck plates also on the middle groin which settled during Tropical Storm Colin, stayed firm throughout this recent storm event, indicating to us our repair technique to fix the settlement is a valid one.”
The contract with Cayo LLC of Fort Worth, Texas for the $5 million project is expected to be extended by 77 days.
“This includes time for procurement and delivery of necessary piling, pre-cast materials and equipment, and the time to perform the work,” Pierro said. “While the contractor has committed to executing this work diligently, the time extension does not include other unpredictable factors such as potential weather driven delays.”